Tuesday Open Thread ~~ Just for Fun


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silly mona lisa.jpg

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What we play is life ~~~ Louis Armstrong
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Good Morning Fellow Caucusers!

A big hearty welcome to all of you. It gives me great pleasure to host Tuesday Morning's Open Thread and I thank you for stopping by.

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For my inaugural post, I thought I'd kick it off with something fun. Fun, you say? Sure! For those of you who may have forgotten what that is (and who can blame you during these trying times), just ask any kid and they'll act it out for you almost immediately. It's an instinctive part of who they are. Yet as we grow older, we become a little more inhibited and prone to disconnect from that playful side of ourselves.

Fret not; I'm sure that inner child is still inside you ready to jump out when the time is right. Be on the lookout though because sometimes that can happen in an instant. Which is exactly what happened to me and my fellow crew members when the general manager of our store decided we should have a little fun. And you know what? We did.

Jumping into something fun is a lot easier than writing about it. Strike the wrong tone and you risk leaving the topic perched foolishly on your knee. High seriousness about silliness brings to mind a lovable literary character who made the ill advised attempt to describe a smile scientifically. My inner PG Wodehouse aside, I will attempt to put my thoughts into words and hope you will allow me a little wiggle room to be serious about the benefits of silliness.

The National Institute for Play (NIP) (Yes, that organization actually exists) believes that play is:

"the gateway to vitality and is directly linked to our sense of optimism. Play also fosters good health by boosting our immune system and can dramatically transform our relationships by promoting empathy and a sense of belonging and community".

This may not be news to many of you. After all, most of us know we need to take a break from work and enjoy a bit of recreation. But when was the last time you did something silly or new? When was the last time you went to the park and got on a swing and sang a song? Most of us have such busy lives that making time to play often gets squeezed out of our hectic schedules . But what if I told you that the opposite of play is not work. The opposite of play is depression.

New York in The 1960's - 70's (2).jpg

Play may actually help keep you feeling younger, happier and healthier. In fact studies show that the absence of play puts people at a greater risk for stress-related diseases, mental health issues, addiction and violence. By nature play is uniquely and intrinsically rewarding. It seeks out novelty and re-charges adult relationships. My Sister and Brother-in-law are a wonderful example of how play can revitalize a relationship. After 20 years of marriage, and a recent cancer scare, they began making time to play. Whether it's going to dinner theater, ice skating, or exploring new places together, there is an energy and appreciation between the two of them that has them laughing at each other's jokes and enjoying each other's company like they did when they were first married.

Playing is also an important part of society. Yet how we define that in a larger role can sometimes be tricky. This is especially true when discussing how we use public places for play. When Central Park first opened in 1857 it was essentially a park for the wealthy. Luxurious carriages with well dressed women out for their daily ride filled the park pathways. Sunday afternoons elegant men and women congregated for musical concerts or for quiet walks in the rose gardens. Playing in the park was seen by the wealthy as a contemplative pursuit where the spirit was lifted by the beauty of ones surroundings.

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As Central Park expanded so did the conflict over how the park would be used. The conservationists argued that the park "was intended as a countryside escape for urban dwellers" while working class New Yorkers saw the park as a place for children's playgrounds and somewhere to play sports. Eventually the debate gave way to New York's growing population and the needs of the people. By the early part of the twentieth century, Central Park became less an oasis for the wealthy and instead represented a place where everyone could play as the city began adding playgrounds, baseball fields, and tennis courts.

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As a student of elementary education, I would often go to Central Park between classes and watch kids at play. Observing how they played; who were the leaders; how they used their surroundings; and what ideas they came up with, was not only useful for my own studies in child development, but fascinating entirely on it's own. It was like a road map of who they were both socially and cognitively.

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play
than in a year of conversation ~~ Plato.

I found the same to be true of adults. Back in the day when I was working for the product development team at Coach Leatherware, we always seemed to be at odds with the business management team. Finally, the Director of our department called an Industrial Psychologist who specialized in working with improv techniques to come in and work with us. In the afternoon I spent playing games and putting on performances, I learned more about the people I worked with than I had in the previous two years.

We are biologically hard wired to play:

Neuroscientists, developmental biologists, psychologists, social scientists, and researchers from every point of the scientific compass now know that play is a profound biological process. It has evolved over eons in many animal species to promote survival. It shapes the brain and makes animals smarter and more adaptable. In higher animals, it fosters empathy and makes possible complex social groups.

Of all animal species, humans are the biggest players of all. We are built to play and built through play. When we play, we are engaged in the purest expression of our humanity, the truest expression of our individuality. Is it any wonder that often the times we feel most alive, those that make up our best memories, are moments of play?

~

Girls People just wanna have fun!

~

On a more personal note, my Sister and I are going to do something we haven't done since we were kids. We're going to sit down in front of a blank canvas and play with colors and shapes. Taking an art class is something I've wanted to try for awhile but never felt "artistic" enough to do it. No more. We found a class specifically geared for people like us who want to dabble a little in watercolors but not feel the pressure of actually being good at it. Pinot's Palette offers a relaxed artistic experience where you can paint along with the guidance of a teacher while you drink wine. Oh yeah, I'm gonna ride that wave all the way to the end. Kowabunga Baby!

Now it's your turn. You know what to do. Jump on in. The water's fine. Smile

~
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LeChienHarry's picture

We all need to play more not less in these times. What a good topic for us. We can play with our kids, our dogs and cats; out in the woods; a good game of Mexican Train. Music, music, music.

Best wishes.

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You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again you did not know. ~ William Wiberforce

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Anja Geitz's picture

@LeChienHarry

Playing with kids and/or pets is a wonderful way to keep that inner child active! Music too! Dancing is one of my favorite fun things to do.

The Mexican Train game? That's a new one on me. How do you play it?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

LeChienHarry's picture

@Anja Geitz @Anja Geitz You start with double 12 in the middle of the table; each player can start their own train by matching the 12 and any other number of dots. Each person gets 12 dominos if you have 4 or 5 players: more if you are less, fewer if more players. If you have a 12 but can't continue to add your own dominos, you can start one separate train, which anyone can play on. You can only play your own train unless you have a turn you can't play, then you put up a foreign coin (good excuse to collect when travelling) and anyone can play on your train, possibly messing up your plans. Object is the first one to get rid of all tiles. If you are down to your last one, you must tap the table with that last domino, or....you lose your shot. Hah.

There are good game rules on Google. It's fun for a wide range of ages, but some people get really good at strategy. Variations abound.

Check it out.

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You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again you did not know. ~ William Wiberforce

If you can donate, please! POP Money is available for bank-to-bank transfers. Email JtC to make a monthly donation.

Anja Geitz's picture

@LeChienHarry

Thanks!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

The Aspie Corner's picture

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

@The Aspie Corner

That guy does the best parody of the US Presidency ever!

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Anja Geitz's picture

@The Aspie Corner

You know, I never noticed this before, but if you watch Trump on mute and imagine a Benny Hill tune in your head, he's actually very entertaining.

True what the video said about the money though. Lots and lots of money.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

gulfgal98's picture

It has been a while since I actually thought about "playing." Like many others here, I had hobbies and past times, but not real play. My husband has a group of friends with which he jogs, rides bikes, and walks, but the real play is in their emails among one another. Some of them are hilarious.

I have a really good friend who is awesome in so many ways, but the big thing about her is that she is fun to be around. Any occasion in her life calls for decorations and silly hats or something similar. We all need to be reminded about how to play again. Thanks for doing that for me.

On a different note, on Sunday, one of my dogs was barking at something under a huge tree in our back yard. When I went over to check it out, I saw that it was a baby barred owl. He was beautiful! He did not appear to be sick or injured, but he could not fly because his flight feathers had not yet come in. So I called St. Francis Wildlife Rescue.

They sent out a rehabber to check to see if the owl needed to be taken in or if it could be placed back in the tree. The woman picked it up and examined it all over and pronounced it healthy. She said that he probably jumped from the tree and that is not unusual. She then got on the very top of an eight foot ladder and built a nest for him in the lowest crook of the tree.

I was worried that the parents would abandon him, but she said that was doubtful. So when she left, I held my breath. We are once again hearing the owls hooting out in our yard, and as of this morning the owlet is still in his nest. My husband said that the owlet was standing up in the nest when he checked on him this morning. The rehabber said he should fledge in two weeks or less.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

Anja Geitz's picture

@gulfgal98

What a lovely story. I held my breath a little while you were telling it, hoping the little owl was ok!

Here's what I'm imaging the lil guy looks like.... Smileimage_83.jpg

So, how does one refashion a nest for a baby owl anyway?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

gulfgal98's picture

@Anja Geitz The rehabber asked my neighbor and I to bring her some large sticks which she used to create a back for the next in the crook of the tree. Once she got them placed where they would not move, she asked we bring her a lot of Spanish moss. She used the Spanish moss to create the bed and sides of the nest.

All of this was really remarkable because she really needed a much taller ladder. So to reach the crook of the tree, she stood on the very top of the ladder while she was doing this. The rehabber was no kid either. She was in her late forties or most likely early fifties.

The baby barred owl was nearly all white down with big yellow/gold eyes like the owl on the left in the picture below. He was very aware of everything that was going on around him. When she picked him up, he was calm but kept making a clicking sound which I believe meant that he was hungry and wanted to be fed. She did give him water via a syringe before she left.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

Anja Geitz's picture

@gulfgal98

I suspect the Spanish moss is indigenous to your area? How clever of the re-habber to use. I'll bet it made a nice bed for the owl. I had no idea they were white.

Perhaps we should give a name to your baby owl?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

gulfgal98's picture

@Anja Geitz when they get their adult feathers in. The owl in the picture on the right looks to be an adult. I did not know this and just learned all this stuff in the last two days.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

Anja Geitz's picture

@gulfgal98

It must be a curious thing to have rescued such an odd little creature. Here's hoping your little owl gets a chance to change colors.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

gulfgal98's picture

@Anja Geitz See my update below.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

Eagles92's picture

@gulfgal98 What a sweet story! I'm rooting hard for the little one -- hope it's found (or been brought) some sustenance!

Just a few nights ago, an adult owl swooped into our yard and hung out for quite some time on a low branch of a tall maple tree. In the 12 years we've been in our house, this has never happened; we felt so privileged to have seen it, since we're in a solidly suburban area. It was around dusk so a little difficult to be certain, but I think it was a barred owl as well.

(Sadly, it seems such sightings are because the owls are food-stressed this year).

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gulfgal98's picture

@Eagles92 We could still see him in the area where the rehabber made the nest, but hubby was worried because there was a great horned owl hanging around, so he got on a ladder to check on the baby. The baby had a half eaten squirrel in the nest and was fine, but had changed a ton in just two days. He is no longer white, but is turning brown with real feathers and his beak had changed a lot. We now think we mis-identified him. He is not a barred owl baby but now we think he is a great horned owl baby. He has grown a ton.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

QMS's picture

@gulfgal98
change your feather colors and grow your beak
glad the little hooty is cared for

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Listen to your higher mind.

Deja's picture

@gulfgal98
Thanks for the update!

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Eagles92's picture

@Deja

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dystopian's picture

@gulfgal98 The downy young are hard to ID but for eye color. If it has yellow eyes it is a Great Horned Owl. If it has all brown eyes it is a Barred Owl.

Great work and story GG!

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

gulfgal98's picture

@dystopian because I wish I had known about the eye color two days ago. The baby definitely had yellow eyes, so we now know that it is definitely a great horned owl. Thank you so very much for this information. Good

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

jobu's picture

play in his 2nd Bill of rights:

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

As an avid golfer, I know that FDR helped develop golf courses and other recreational opportunities for all Americans.

By building ski lodges, tennis courts, equestrian facilities, archery ranges, swimming pools, innumerable baseball fields as well as golf courses, New Deal agencies like the WPA democratized sports previously available only to the wealthy while realizing what Franklin Roosevelt called for at a 1943 press conference: “We must plan for, and help to bring about, an expanded economy which will result in more security, in more employment, in more recreation.”


Bethpage Black Course, Farmingdale New York

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Is very bad to steal Jobu's Rum, is very bad...

Anja Geitz's picture

@jobu

FDR was a wise man indeed. Nice bit of info. Thanks!

My few times out on the golf course, which was up in Westchester many years ago, I remember enjoying the chipmunks that scampered across the grounds. Cute lil things Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

jobu's picture

@Anja Geitz
What a great topic to allow us to play around with.

Nice job!

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Is very bad to steal Jobu's Rum, is very bad...

@jobu
because the capitalists were disinclined to provide even the meagerest opportunities, they set folk to building, among other things, extraordinary recreational facilities in parks all across the nation.

Anybody who has ever had the good fortune to enjoy the buildings, fences, trails, bridges and i don't know what else that the CCC built during the 30s ought to grasp that socialism is no-brainer. These are the sorts of nice things that we can have when projects are organized, not to maximize "efficiency", but merely to get useful things done with the labor and resources that nature has provided.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

I once saw a cartoon or a motto or something saying, "It's time we put the "fun" back into dysfunctional." During the same hour, I saw another cartoon of a mother and daughter waiting to see a psychiatrist with the caption, "Dear, do you know of a functional family?) Then again, there are as many degrees of dysfunctional as there are of fun.

I have little hearing in one ear. Some of the things I "mishear" make me laugh loudly. I'm sorry, but I can't remember any of them just now. (Haven't had me first cup of coffee yet, and I'm rubbish without two. The worst is having to buy coffee before I've had any. I never get the order straight.)

Some folks, including me, know how to take the fun out of fun. https://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/children-laughter-frequency/

My life lesson on what it is to be an infant: Long story, but I was in a walking rapidly to public transportation, carrying an infant. I had just shlepped us and a heavy diaper bag on public transportation for about an hour and a half to a top orthopedist who was supposed to check his feet because the pediatrician had made a referral. Turned out, the orthopedist had gone on vacation without calling or writing. Yes, I had an appointment, made well in advance, as is often the case with specialists. Yes, I was in a foul mood.

As I stormed toward public transportation for the return trip, the infant began repeating "uh, uh, uh" and squirming. I was afraid he would squirm out of my arms. I was about to lose it altogether (internally, anyway), until I realized that he was struggling to reach the leaves on the trees we had been walking under. I stopped, bent down a branch so he could feel them and my mood changed completely to peace and calm. And I feel calmer just typing that. The wonder, the curiosity, the joy of discovery. Remember, infants get hysterical just because you play peek a boo. The buggers even get joy from learning, all the way up until school gets its hands on them. (That Why? Why? Why? stuff is not just to annoy you. It's them trying to understand the world in which they must live.)

Joan Rivers claimed your face could fool your brain: If you smiled, although you were sad, your brain would begin to cause your body to release the stuff it releases when you are happy. Hey, try it. No unpleasant side effects. What can you lose?

I love comedies, or as a friend (?) put it, "You like stupid movies." (She had picked the film, btw. She always did. Note the past tense.) I figure I can get all the real life sadness and aggravation I need for free. Why should I pay anyone to get me sad or aggravated over fake stuff? So, I watch a lot of stand up, comedy films and TV, etc. But, the funniest stuff is the stuff that happens IRL, spontaneously.

Ain't you grateful for laughter and fun? Our species could have evolved without either. So, put on your party pants! (On your head, of course.)

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Anja Geitz's picture

@HenryAWallace

Love the story about the squirming infant. One of the perks of my job is that I get to play with babies and kids all day. Oh, the questions and stories they come up with!

Grew up watching Laurel and Hardy, along with WC Fields, Saturday afternoons with my Mother. It's one of my first memories of laughing together with my Mom.

Yes, funny movies is a great way to play Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz

I loved your first open thread. Reading it was also a good way to play. Anything that brings smiles or laughter is a good way to play, IMO. Even anything that turns on the light bulb above your head (if you were a comic strip character) is a good way to play. "Ah, now I get it!" is a fun moment.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@HenryAWallace

I was a bit nervous at first choosing a topic, but then my manager did the bubble wrap thing and my open thread sort of wrote itself.

Btw, I totally relate about the ear thing. I have the same issue, and yes, I mis-hear the silliest things too. We should start keeping notes and compare them sometime. Lol!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Anja Geitz

Btw, I totally relate about the ear thing. I have the same issue, and yes, I mis-hear the silliest things too. We should start keeping notes and compare them sometime. Lol!

This reminds me of a mis-hear from my childhood. We were cleaning up the kitchen and had already used many rags and towels. My brother came on to the scene and was about to add yet another towel to the pile. "Don't get a clean one!" my Mom told him. But my brother proceeded to do just that. "What did I tell you?" said Mom.

"Don't go to Cleveland?" was my brother's reply.

We all laughed until we cried!

Smile

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Anja Geitz's picture

@thanatokephaloides

That's a good one. Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Deja's picture

@thanatokephaloides
I love these!

When I was in 4th grade, my teacher made the mistake of sitting me next to the window. While we were all supposed to be following along in our books, learning about cotton of all things (did everyone learn about cotton, non existent crop rotation, soil depletion, etc. in 4th grade?), my teacher pulled the old, "Deja, what wiped out cotton in such and such year?" trick, because she knew I was gazing outside, my mind far, far away.

Me: "Bald eagles?"

Laughter exploded, filling the classroom. Even she chuckled. The next morning, I had been moved away from the window.

Another:

When my son was about 6, he came into my room, very concerned and holding his side.

"Mommy, my side hurts. I think I have independecitis!"

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Deja

I think I suffered from independicitis as a youngster too. A very willful child who at age of three years old decided to meander off our property and explore the orange groves in Ventura County where I lived. And where I was eventually rescued by seasonal orange pickers who saw me wandering around perfectly content. Parents picked me up at the Sheriffs office, both of them an emotional wreck, but I was just fine.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Deja's picture

@Anja Geitz
How funny!

Once when the kids were very young a knock on the door at about 2am came from a cop, asking if we had a little boy, and then if we knew where he was. Everyone in our house was accounted for.

It seems, there had been a man driving down the dark highway, who thought he was hallucinating after passing a young boy, surrounded by a small pack of dogs, pushing one of those Little Tikes cars, the ones kids could fit inside and Flintstone power with their feet. This was 12 miles from the city. Two miles from our tiny town. Two lane, pitch dark, 65mph highway.

Turns out, the kid was about three. He and his mom had been at the county fair all day. Mom, exhausted, had bathed him, put him to bed, and then crashed, herself. He awoke, pushed a chair to the door to reach the additional lock Mom had installed because the little shit had flown the coop before, got the car, and hit the road. Doggies followed. He was found by that guy, thinking he'd been on the road too long, four miles from home. His bare feet as black as the asphalt he'd been walking on.

Independecitis strikes again! It also reminds me of the old saying, "God watches over fools and small children." Ag workers, dogs, and strangers driving in the night come in handy too.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Deja

God watches over fools and small children

Thank Goodness for that? Can you imagine being out on the road and seeing that little boy? Hallucinating indeed! lol.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Deja's picture

@thanatokephaloides
Thought of another.

While learning to write, I was shocked to learn that elemeno was actually L, M, N, O. That's not how the song went lol.

And another:

I once knew a woman who said as a child, she thought God's (and/or Jesus's) middle name was Howard because her mom was always yelling, "Jesus H. Christ" and in church everyone always said "Howard be thy name." I laughed so hard when she told that story!

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dystopian's picture

@HenryAWallace "It's time we put the "fun" back into dysfunctional"... is very to close to my family motto "We put the fun in dysfunction!"

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

QMS's picture

Serious silliness in wordplay.
The playground was my favorite subject in school.
Only time I feigned seriousness was while playing sports.

NASA here plays the music from the cosmos...

https://twitter.com/i/status/1102616036573089792

Thanks for the smiles!

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Listen to your higher mind.

Anja Geitz's picture

@QMS

Thanks for the opportunity to share your Open thread! I had a lot of fun writing it! Smile

Parks and playgrounds are the best. I was a great tree climber as a kid. Loved sitting perched up there watching the world go by. In fact treehouses are one of my favorite things!

image_84.jpg

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Mark from Queens's picture

Really hit the spot for me at this moment in terms of a reminder, that I need to be mindful of at various points during the day with the babies, to not let myself become too overwhelmed by the constant drudge work; and to really allow myself to laugh more heartily when they are funny and we're having fun, which is actually happens more than I'm sometimes inclined to remember at the end of a long day. As I'm writing this the Boy is singing Beatles lyrics in the voice of something like the Cookie Monster (though he's not seen any tv yet really; ok 15min of Sesame Street but not the CM, and I treated him, just as much for me though, to the Little Rascals once. But no screen time yet, they'll get plenty soon enough).

Having kids can drive you crazy (or to drink, as my mother would say, but never did). But on the upside for one predisposed to fun and recognizing it as a central component to his life, there are many moments of having lots of good bellyaching laughs, mischievous fun and imbuing on them wondrous discovery that align squarely with my philosophies.

If I think about it, probably most people who have met or know me well would think the central characteristic of my being is to have fun, with music and mischief being the drivers. And in my case it's probably a bit more mischief than silliness. Though the latter comes out all day in subconsciously adopting the voice, demeanor and mannerism of friends or people I've encountered to have some fun (or maybe annoy my partner) with mundane things. Kind of like impersonations that comedians use, but I entertain myself and now the kids. Tales of mischief could probably fill a few volumes.

But these days, as someone who in so many ways may have had too much gratuitous fun in his wilder days, I tend to look back on some of my earlier days as empty calorie hedonism. At some point it just simply got boring - and activism took its place. And for me it was a natural extension of the mischief and joy at my core. Throwing proverbial rocks at the establishment was/is fun. And I found folks who share a rebel spirit and who have fun doing it. So my fun became more enriching fun, fun my body and soul needed, rather than vacuously just imbibing emptily just because it was right in front of me. Some of my older friends may be perplexed, perhaps disappointed, feel slightly alienated. But to me it makes perfect sense. And if they really thought it through outside of their own expectations they'd understand the essence, or the song, remains the same. As I see it, at the heart of activism is a strong compulsion to attempt to transform into a better world - one that would simply and essentially mean, I tell them when I see them, more time for us to spend together, rather than withering away in the relentless, churning grinder of Capitalism. Sometimes they get it.

Yes, the sheer, unadulterated joy of being a kid should remain a present force in all over our lives. It is our true nature to be curious, adventurous and playful - which is literally how we discovered the world in the first place. That is a joy to watch in my little ones.

The photo of the boys playing with the sailboat in the pond of Central Park made me think of both the Little Rascals and a book about Frederick Olmsted, the co-architect and visionary of the park. The stories behind its creation, the wondrous vision, and the struggle to keep that large tract of land right in the middle of Manhattan away from the hands of realtors and in the safe keep of the public forever, are fascinating to read. Olmsted envisioned the place as the People’s Park, wherein the poor who couldn’t escape the city during the summer heat could at least get some respite in the rambling wooded meadows that could provide a sense of vacation. To that degree, he also was vehement against having any statues of public figure (unfortunately that didn’t last) and as another feature in that vein sculpted Central Park with no gates of entry and to be entered very naturally, and similarly to have the feeling of getting lost in the woods.

Picked up an armful of books recently at the great Unnamed Bookstore in Bklyn, including “Our Gang: A racial history of the Little Rascals.” Poignant stories behind-the-scenes that reflect the racial times as being as oppressive as ever, but also the triumph of that show to break some through social mores and institutional racism to gloriously show the instinctive nature of children to find one another and fun and mischief in any and everything, regardless of class or race.

Off for some fun with the kids...heh.

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14 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Anja Geitz's picture

@Mark from Queens

Ah, yes, you had include Zeppelin in the morning Smile Can't listen now without hearing Bonzo and the beat. That guy was freaking amazing.

You really reeled me in with this one:

The stories behind its creation, the wondrous vision, and the struggle to keep that large tract of land right in the middle of Manhattan away from the hands of realtors and in the safe keep of the public forever, are fascinating to read.

I've always wondered how they managed to keep such a prime piece of real estate space away from greedy developers. Will add the book to my reading list for sure.

Singing a Beatles song in a Sesame Street voice, eh? Sounds like your kid if you ask me. Hahaha! Delightful.

Keep playing with them Mark. They grow up so fast Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Mark from Queens's picture

@Anja Geitz
When looking for the title was reminded of his other incredible endeavors building other parks in the cities of Montreal, Boston, Rochester, Stamford University, as well as Prospect Park in Bklyn.

In addition to being a conservationist he was an abolitionist who did some great reportage on the lives and conditions of slavery, for the fledgling NY Times of all places.

Here's some reviews by readers

Funny story. The Fool In The Rain groove was so dazzling and elusive to me as a kid. Until one day playing in my friend's basement in my early 20's, a girl around my age came in from mowing his lawn. I didn't know her but she was the sister of a guy who was living upstairs. She asked if I knew it, and when I said I didn't really she hopped on the kit and showed me. I was floored. It was like this benevolent, dreamlike gift given by this unassuming, talented girl. She disappeared back upstairs, while I got the thing down, and I never saw her again.

Bonham's playing endlessly fascinates and inspires me. His touch, grace, imagination and power are just unparalleled in rock music. Sexy and swinging. Always wonder what it was like to have heard him play at 13, or 15, or 17, since he cut that first Zeppelin album at 19 I think.

That groove, it's been pointed out, is a take on the Purdie shuffle, as in Bernard Purdie of the "Funky Drummer" James Brown fame. He plays it on Steely Dan's "Home At Last" on Aja (1977), and also "Babylon Sisters" which is on the follow-up. There's also a story I think about Jason Bonham, who's a really good drummer in his own right (fun to have met him for a brief moment in LA), hearing "Roseanna" by Toto and marveling to the amazing Jeff Porcaro about the upbeat, swing shuffle that he plays that carries the song. He said something like, "oh, I got that from your father."

up
10 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Anja Geitz's picture

@Mark from Queens

There's also a story I think about Jason Bonham ....hearing "Roseanna" by Toto and marveling to the amazing Jeff Porcaro about the upbeat, swing shuffle that he plays that carries the song. He said something like, "oh, I got that from your father."

First, this pleases me so much to hear Jason being reminded how very much his Father influenced other musicians, and second, to be reminded myself of how every musician is influenced by other musicians. Which is why I don't buy into the criticism that Zeppelins first album was a derivative of other artists material. Yeah, okay, they borrowed other artists songs, but to say they didn't create something new out of that material is being completely tone deaf to Zeppelin's unique sound.

Funny story. The Fool In The Rain groove was so dazzling and elusive to me as a kid. Until one day playing in my friend's basement in my early 20's, a girl around my age came in from mowing his lawn. I didn't know her but she was the sister of a guy who was living upstairs. She asked if I knew it, and when I said I didn't really she hopped on the kit and showed me. I was floored. It was like this benevolent, dreamlike gift given by this unassuming, talented girl. She disappeared back upstairs, while I got the thing down, and I never saw her again

You made my heart go pitter patter with that one. Great song. Great rhythm. Great image you evoke of a young Mark behind a drum kit.

God, would it be something to go back in time and watch Led Zeppelin jam for the first time....

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

lotlizard's picture

@Mark from Queens  
an entertainer named “Chubby Roland” assisted by a bunch of “local” kids showed “Our Gang” comedy reels interspersed with games and stunts.

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jun/08/ln/ln36a.html

When I think about it now, I wonder how, in multiracial Hawaii, the station settled on “Our Gang” as one of the few bits of old-timey U.S. live-action entertainment showing kids of different races running around together as if it were normal.

Opposite sort of narrative from the teenage ethnic turf war depicted in, say, West Side Story (1961).

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enhydra lutris's picture

wonderful initial OT. I have a few puzzle type toys scattered around, but seldom get to them any more, though guests often do. All my life, however, I have kept a minimum of one slinky and two or three yo-yos (yo-yi?) around for those idle moments when nothing but a yo-yo will do.

Play, as you note, is very important, but, of course, that is also a bit definitional. I am wont, now and then, to announce to my spouse that I am going to go play in the kitchen. Usually that means that I will be experimenting either without recipe or with something only very remotely connected to a half remembered recipe or technique. Once you declare it to be play, it doesn't matter if you fail, plus you get to learn something on the side. Similarly, I am wont to play in the shop, trying out "brainstorms" on scrap raw materials that there is no guilt in wasting.

Thanks for the OT and the reminder to always take a little time to play, lately I've been slacking off on that because I have stupidly convinced myself that I am "busy". Hah! We'll see about that when the sun finally rises. Wink

Have a fun Tuesday.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

How true!

Once you declare it to be play, it doesn't matter if you fail, plus you get to learn something on the side.

I call cooking play too! Which I hope to bring to future open threads. Thanks so much for stopping by Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Eagles92's picture

And a happy topic to boot.

You have me thinking about recess. Remember that? The anticipation of it? The "chunk, slam" of the front door as it first burst open and spilled out dozens of kids shrieking with pent-up energy and joy? Remember bee-lining for the swingset, running full-tilt in the hopes you could snag one before they were all taken? Double-dutch jumprope? Foursquare? Or just running around like a maniac, drunk on fresh air?

Ahhhh. I miss recess. Looks like your manager did a pretty good job of re-creating it with that bubble wrap! We should put a petition on change.org demanding that all employers offer recess. Smile

Looking forward to hearing about your painting experience! There's a "paint 'n sip" studio here in town that I've been wanting to try ... definitely sounds like fun!

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Eagles92

Recess! I still remember how much I used to like to play handball, or sit in the corner with my best friend and laugh and talk about movies we liked.

I think we should all have recess at work and play together. I'm very fortunate in that I work in a place that encourages you to have fun. Which one of the many reasons I like my job. The people I work with.

Have a great Tuesday!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Anja Geitz's picture

@Anja Geitz

Boy did I love playing that game. My Mother even sewed me a little bean bag with real beans in it. She put a navy blue cover on it with white polka dots. The bean bag was a superior marker for hopscotch because it had a nice slide to it and was easy to throw. One day me and my friend Shira were throwing my bean bag up in the air and I threw it so high, it landed on the roof of my classroom. I was so upset I cried. Mom made me another one. That one had a red paisley pattern on it. My girlfriends loved my bean bag so much, my Mother made ones for them too. I remember picking out the material out for them from the scraps my Mom had. They got dirty pretty quick but we still loved them.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Eagles92's picture

@Anja Geitz And kind gift from your mother! Personalized hopscotch markers that absolutely performed better than any schoolyard rock. Smile

I used to love hopscotch, too. Every so often, kids in the extended neighborhood here will draw a board with sidewalk chalk and I've been known to skip through it if I see one. And ... it's FUN!

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Eagles92

Every so often, kids in the extended neighborhood here will draw a board with sidewalk chalk and I've been known to skip through it if I see one.

And then I tell them about the bean bag marker! Hahahaha!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Mark from Queens's picture

@Eagles92

Such a powerful, careening blast that conjures up those days. The brevity of lyrics is perfect in conveying that feeling of adolescent rebelliousness.

I was occasionally familiar with being up at "The Wall" during grade school. Which is where you were sent to stand if you were goofing off a little too much and instigating the others to do the same. Think Kurt probably was too.

No Recess!

up
11 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Eagles92's picture

@Mark from Queens Thanks for dropping that here.

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4 users have voted.

Good morning, finally. I can't remember if my avatar is grouchy our cheery today. sans souci face

That bubble wrap vid made me feel happy, oh man some of those guys were really in to it. Reminded me of my tap dancing friend. Tap dancing is pretty fun, but I can't keep up.

I have fun at the river as the level goes down and spring is coming, the wildlife is a blast. Yesterday we saw a gbh and an osprey standing about five feet apart on the opposite shore. The osprey was standing at the edge with its feet in the water, very calm. We saw them on the way to the boat ramp, and then on the way back, they were still there? It seemed weird they were standing there in the same positions, half an hour later. Of course we had no cameras, it happened only in our memories, sry. lol I don't know what's going on and that is nothing new. sergeant schultz
"Cups" Tap Dance - Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect)

peace
---
Curbside flood debris cleanup begins along the lower Russian River area
Fun! finally

The work will continue on weekdays through March 22.

Just in time for Spring. OPEN SIGN I used to have fun tie dying eggs around egg day, easter. egg salad sandwich

happy tuesday

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Anja Geitz's picture

@eyo

Tap dancing has always looked like a lot fun! Great video. And you're right, it does sound a little like jumping on bubble wrap. Lol.

That bubble wrap vid made me feel happy, oh man some of those guys were really in to it.

I have a feeling I know who you are talking about and believe it or not, he is one of the managers whose sense of fun and play is absolutely infectious. We have a lot of fun at work. I'm really lucky that way.

Have a happy Tuesday, Eyo!

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9 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

LOL I am not kidding, he was in the passenger seat holding on to the side grip over the window with one finger, his middle one. From the sidewalk it appeared he was flipping everyone off as they raced toward their destination. Two cars, four cops, no safety lights just speeding as always.
invisiblehand.jpg
The Invisible Hand of the Free Market

Our fire house was dedicated to 9/11, because of course. The address number is 451, don't say Fahrenheit. This is what our first responders see every day in the break room:

FEAR & VIOLENCE constant reminder
I'd vote to move that mural somewhere else. thanks
---
Not Safe For Work is in the Subject because maybe people are there and cow-orkers might not appreciate word play like this:

David Peel & The Lower East Side " F Is Not A Dirty Word "

hope everyone has a good day all day
cops and firefighters included
PEACE

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11 users have voted.
Mark from Queens's picture

@eyo @eyo
Which is why I try to not leave home without a Magnum Sharpie.

IMG_5252.JPG

up
13 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Anja Geitz's picture

@Mark from Queens

Good call with the sharpie

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10 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Steven D's picture

@Mark from Queens Just sayin ...

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9 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Steven D

Nazis were big on Eagles too Just sayin

Not so much Eagles92, though. Smile

Or these Eagles:

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Eagles92's picture

@thanatokephaloides Got nervous there for a second!

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7 users have voted.

Yes, indeedy you did have fun with this OT. Spring is out there. I can see, feel and sense it. It always makes me feel like I'm going to have a fun day.

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12 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Anja Geitz's picture

@dkmich

Spring time in the air after this crazy winter is definitely something to be joyful over.

Yes, indeedy you did have fun with this OT. Spring is out there.

I did indeed Smile

Thanks for stopping by!

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11 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

for H.R.1384 - To establish an improved Medicare for All national health insurance program. bookmark
I keep checking back since Feb 27th, when all the co-sponsors had their PR about it, press releases and tv time and such. deja 16 vu

So what in townhall is everyone debating about then? There is no text yet. nada, nyet I wanted to play the jeopardy theme while we wait for it... but this is more funner. thanks Alex Trebek
MC Trebek MASHUP (Tronovitch remix)

thanks tronovitch

Just saw this over there too, it does have a lot of text: H.R.1346 - Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act of 2019

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for an
option for individuals who are ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare, to
provide for health insurance market stabilization, and for other
purposes.

huh Debbie Wasserman Schultz is an original co-sponsor, if that tells ya anything.

PU Fun! This is from last time, so who are the top five this time? mindless inquiry wants not to know
--- PU
Nomiki GOES OFF At DNC Unity Reform Meeting

this smells
right on
high fidelity
edit: stinks/smells. And again, jeopardy/joepardy although joe party sounds pretty good.

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QMS's picture

@eyo
pretty much sums up the debate our leggy gators are having

health insurance market stabilization

not about human health care, but insurance market finances

upside-down
inside-out
stand the world on it's head
and spin it all about
hokey-pokey

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12 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Daenerys's picture

@eyo That says a lot. I don't want health insurance, I want health CARE!

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12 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

Lily O Lady's picture

@Daenerys

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9 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

thanatokephaloides's picture

Under the Law of Moses, even the land itself was entitled to times of rest and play; and because the land didn't get those sabbaths, the Israelite people were evicted from it to Assyrian and Babylonian captivity.

Recreation is a necessity.

Smile

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12 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Lookout's picture

and just came in and read your OT. Some may not consider lopping privet fun, but it is to me. Lovely day outside to boot.

I liked gg's owl story above. The barred owl says "who cooks for you?"

Play truly does instill a sense of creativity in both children and adults (and Sutton-Smith has gone to make a well-established career proving it).

https://creativesomething.net/post/84134598535/why-play-is-essential-for...

Well more to do this afternoon. Have a good one all!

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14 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Anja Geitz's picture

@Lookout

Play removes limits that otherwise constrain us to what we currently know to be possible. It’s by removing those constraints and opening ourselves to diversity (through play) that creative insights become the norm of what we’re doing

This really defines the "create" part of creativity for me. Because essentially, creating, is imagining something that doesn't exist yet. And do that, we need to go beyond what already is reality. Play offers us a place in our minds to do that.

P.S. what is lopping privet?

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10 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz pardon me for butting in but your question made me laugh. I used to have a privet, and I did trim it a lot with loppers 'cause it grew like crazy.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loppers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privet

Privet was originally the name for the European semi-evergreen shrub Ligustrum vulgare, and later also for the more reliably evergreen Ligustrum ovalifolium used extensively for privacy hedging, though now the name is applied to all members of the genus. The generic name was applied by Pliny the Elder (23–79 CE) to L. vulgare.[3] It is often suggested that the name privet is related to private, but the OED states that there is no evidence to support this.

So... ni? "no evidence to support this" huh where have I heard that before? Retraction submitted. Oh well, at least I learned where the long beer lines at the brewery originated, thanks. You need to click on 21 years of age just to view their page. wtf brawndo

https://russianriverbrewing.com/pliny-the-elder/

have fun

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Anja Geitz's picture

@eyo

Hahahahah!!!

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9 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Lookout's picture

@Anja Geitz

...taking over all our streams and rivers. There's great joy in cutting it down.

All nine species of privet currently in the southeast U.S. are invasive.[3] The first species of privet was introduced into the United States in the 1700s as an ornamental plant used as a hedge or foliage for gardens.[3] Glossy privet arrived in the U.S. in 1794, Chinese privet in 1825, Japanese privet in 1845, California privet in 1847, and Amur privet in 1860.[3] Privets escaped cultivation in the early 1900s, but became widely naturalized during the 1950s-1970s or later.[5] Currently privet is designated as a foreign invasive plant in Alabama and Georgia and considered a severe threat in North Carolina and Florida.[3] It is estimated that Chinese privet alone occupies over one million hectares of land across 12 states ranging from Virginia to Florida and west to Texas.[4]

When introduced to an ecosystem, privet grows quickly and, given time, will produce a thick layer under the forest canopy preventing sunlight from reaching the native plants below.[12] In some cases, this can drive native populations to extinction.[5] If left unchecked, privet may result in large-scale ecosystem modification and an overall loss of native species diversity and richness.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privet_as_an_invasive_plant

Here's a young fellow lopping ...
lopping.jpg

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1 user has voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Anja Geitz's picture

@Lookout

I feel that way about the wild onions that invade my garden. You can't imagine how high they grow! And frisking everywhere!

Thanks for the info on privet lopping Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

smiley7's picture

that sets everything straight." — Phyllis Diller

Thank you zoebear, brightens my day. Smile

Have a happy, playful one.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@smiley7

Phyllis Diller description of a smile is MUCH better than the one poor Professor Scully attempted:

The drawing back and slight lifting of the corners of the mouth, which partially uncover the teeth, the curving of the naso-labial furrows...

Ah, Mr. Wodehouse's love of a good farce. Few could to it better. Smile

Thanks for the song. Can't think of a more appropriate way to say hello!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

You knocked it out of the park. And, coincidentally, spoke to something I need to learn.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Anja Geitz's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

It's still morning here on the west coast..thanks for stopping by! So glad the topic spoke to you :). I think we all need a reminder to let our inner kid out to play, and for some of us, myself included, we need to remind the adult in us to provide a safe place for our inner kids to do that.

Hey, you'll get a kick out of this. Since I used the bubble wrap video in this thread, I'll be sending links of this open thread ito some of the people who either participated in the bubble popping, or are curious to see the video of their fellow crew members. It'll be interesting to see how many of them feel compelled to make a comment.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Steven D's picture

in May in NYC for C99ers.

(Hopes and prayers)

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7 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

Anja Geitz's picture

@Steven D

I wish I could join you!

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6 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

dystopian's picture

@Steven D Hey Steven D. I am sure it is at the top of your mind, but that second to third week of May can be the most spectacular week for spring migration in Central Park. Wink The right day there can be hundreds of warblers of 20 species, many singing adult males, dripping out of the trees in Central Park. Blackburnians, Black-throated Blues, Cape May, Bay-breasted, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Redstarts, all by the dozens everywhere you look. Forest and Prospect Parks can get it too. I had a couple of unforgettable great warbler days at all of them. Plus tons of other stuff too, Wood Thrushes, Scarlet Tanagers, all the eastern migrants, in one place, at once. These greenspots are an island in a concrete jungle and can be mind-blowing. Just find the birders with binocs. The Ramble. Wink Mid-ish May.

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

Deja's picture

What a great boss you have!

I used to work at a warehouse and there was a guy who caught hell from management. They really rode his ass hard, but he always had a smile on his face. He also made me smile when I'd see (and hear) him giddily popping bubble wrap that he would come across in an inbound shipment.

I just made an appointment for my cat to visit the vet on Thursday. Last time we went, she injured her mouth (bleeding), trying like hell to get out of the carrier. Today, the lady at the vet suggested that I put her in a pillow case, and then into the carrier. Now if that ain't gonna be fun, I don't know what is lolol. Crazy

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Deja

Kitty in a pillow case inside a kitty carrier. I think pictures will be required...

Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the video. It was a lot of fun!

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6 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Unabashed Liberal's picture

with this delightful essay.

Congrats, and thank you!

Drinks

Without a doubt, playfulness and laughter are two of the most important keys to enjoying/maintaining a long and healthy life/marriage/relationship. Yes 3

And, as you and LCH pointed out, our "pets" can play a very key role in helping us achieve a healthier and happier lifestyle. I can personally speak to the void and sadness I felt, when we wound up "dogless" for the first time in more than 4 decades. (We still had our almost 28-year-old Cockatiel, but, that's not the same as a dog, even though we love him, too.)

Anyhoo, after giving ourselves sufficient time to heal from the loss of 'the B,' we looked for a dog, fully aware that he/she could possibly be our last one, and chose a breed that is known for its almost lifelong playful nature--a Golden Retriever. Boy, did they get that right! Our little Scottish lass only knows one speed--ON, AT FULL-BORE!

Wink

On the bright side, I've lost over 7 pounds in barely 2 months (without cutting back on my food intake), just trying to keep up with her. Best of all, we're once again experiencing a big dose of play on a daily basis, and, are smiling and laughing considerably more on account of her puppy antics.

Very much appreciate the uplifting essay. BTW, you're an excellent writer--I'd say that C99 is very lucky to have you as a regular OT contributor. Due to the expectation that my schedule is going to change over the next couple months, hope to be able to drop by in the mornings, for a change. (Probably, one of most consistent night owls here, at one time. But, those days, at least for a while, are over. Wink )

Got a couple 'things' on Medicare--but, think I'll save them for another day. No point in spoiling the happy and celebratory mood, here.

Biggrin

Everyone have a nice day!

PleasantryBlue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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14 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

janis b's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

you being flung along by the energy of a golden retriever puppy. I hope she gives you a break sometimes ; ).

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8 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@janis b

"flung along" is very much the correct image that you've conjured up!

Biggrin

Good to see you!

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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2 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Anja Geitz's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

Sounds like playing with your pup is keeping you active and happy. So good to hear! Appreciate your kind words but feel as if I'm the one benefiting from writing this open thread. I've enjoyed the comments so much, and sitting down to write it was a joy. I look forward to doing more of it!

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8 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

snoopydawg's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

By the time we see a picture of her she's going to be grown up. Nothing better than a puppy photo....

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6 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

earthling1's picture

Left me contemplating, with very curved mouth.

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8 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@earthling1

Your inner Wodehouse is showing Smile

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5 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

mhagle's picture

"I needed that!"

Yes, I need more fun.

Fun was how I survived as a public school teacher. Always out of the norm. As a music teacher we sang "Born to be Wild." As a HS computer graphics teacher we put our heads on other bodies (using the Gimp of course). Here is one example:

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10 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

mhagle's picture

@mhagle

George W. Bush, Pope John Paul II, Dolly Parton, and some guy convicted for a money crime. All of this back 10 years ago. So fun. And the kids did a great job. Putting their heads on nuns and cheerleaders, etc. Fun in school.

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10 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Deja's picture

@mhagle
Sounds like you were a great teacher!

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9 users have voted.
mhagle's picture

@Deja

I was pretty much a misfit, but I think the kids had a good time. Sadly, for the most part, classes I taught do not exist anymore - at least in rural Texas areas. Those things got axed after they cut the budget by 5 billion in 2011 and 11,000 teaching jobs.

Actually, having fun with kids is one of the most important things in school IMO.

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10 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

lotlizard's picture

@mhagle  

(Kinderen voor Kinderen 13VARA, 1992)

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6 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@mhagle

Your dear words make my heart sing. Thank you for that, and thank you for sharing your teaching stories. One day we will have to have a conversation and exchange our most memorable ones Smile

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6 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Daenerys's picture

Great OT topic. I haven't been able to play as much as I would like to these days, mostly due to crappy weather but that should be changing soon. I feel like TPTB are making their best effort to keep people too busy and misinformed so as to stifle their play and creativity, but the comments here show that it can never be completely squashed. You guys give me hope. Cheers!

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11 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

Anja Geitz's picture

@Daenerys

Yeah, the weather makes it a little more difficult to get out there and play, but I sure am glad you decided to play with all of us here today!

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8 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

wendy davis's picture

while this may be true in the main: 'Of all animal species, humans are the biggest players of all', i sincerely love watching critters at play. otters build slides in the mud into rivers and ponds, and take turns sliding down them; beavers have a hella lot of fun foolin' around with dogs swimming with them; fawns cavort together and race one another...well you get my gist.

wish i could play more now, but i do what i can these days.

and see: i almost forgot today was tuesday!

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13 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@wendy davis

You remembered!!! Lovely to see you Smile

How's this for animals playing? Not quite what you had in mind???

dogs in car.jpg

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6 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Eagles92's picture

@wendy davis You reminded me of my favorite type of critter play: baby goats!

Impossible to watch them without an LOL or two.

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3 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@Eagles92

Are pretty dang cute. Who knew they jumped so much?

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3 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

magiamma's picture

yes, more fun, the more the merrier, good times.

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10 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

Anja Geitz's picture

@magiamma

I'm tapping my toes right now....

Thanks for stopping by Smile

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7 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Actually, I kinda expected to find this thread filled with rafts of wacky animals-at-play youtube videos.

The best one I ever saw -- and I don't know what happened to it, but I can't find it -- was one of musk oxen playing on ice. I swear to god, they were taking turns running up to a frozen lake and then out onto the ice, where their legs would splay out under them and they'd slide for yards. I mean, it was pretty much musk oxen slip and slide. Unreal. (You get a surprising number of hits if you search for "musk ox playing" or suchlike. They seem to be rather giddy creatures.)

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12 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

janis b's picture

@UntimelyRippd

and also love circle games. While driving through Yellowstone once, I noticed a large group of oxen forming a perfect circle. I stopped, and over the next so long watched their children weaving in and out and around, through each individual adult in a game of pure fun. I doubt it was a game where there was one winner, but simply one where each enjoyed the pleasure equally.

Thank you for another spellbinding image of oxen as giddy.

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8 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Here ya go!

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6 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

up
8 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Deja's picture

@UntimelyRippd
I especially like the human space invaders part, and the elevator one. Very cool!

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6 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

I vote for the elevator too!

Creativity and Play, Hurrah!!

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4 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Pluto's Republic's picture

...to a great open thread, which I am savoring. Wow! More like this, Zoe. You picked an engaging topic where individual personalities have come into focus in a lovely way. Bravo on your OT debut.

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11 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Anja Geitz's picture

@Pluto's Republic

I'll do my best. lol. Good to see you!

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5 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

travelerxxx's picture

Sooooo ... the fun I had today was reading this wonderful OT! Yeah, I'm checking in early AM Wednesday .... but I started reading Tuesday, so it counts!

Thank-you Zoe and commenters! From owls to parks to Marx Bros - loved it all!

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11 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@travelerxxx

Thanks for joining!

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7 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

janis b's picture

All these memories relived here by everyone are so sweet and smile inducing to read. I’m glad there are so many playful (and serious ; ) people here.

The schooling of children has long neglected the value of play. Play and creativity are so important to building a more stable and inspired future. Instead children are subjected to a more academic curriculum from such early ages. So it’s always good to be reminded to sprinkle some fun into the serious.

I hope it's okay with Centaurea to post the music video s/he posted in el's essay, here. It's very joyful.

Thanks again, zoe.

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10 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@janis b

and thank you so much for sharing that marvelous video. What a wonderful metaphor for the joy we can create when we play together. Got a big smile on my face right now.

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8 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Anja Geitz's picture

Thank you so much. It wouldn't have been half as fun without you! Loved every minute Smile

Want to also give a shout out to JtC who helped me get the bubblewrap video prepped so I could embed it here, along with the many questions I had about getting this thread up and ready to go.

I'd like to also thank QMS who encouraged me to do this and who walked me through a coded template that looked completely alien to me.

And last but not least, I'd like to thank CStMS who also gave me a little push to be creative and gave me ideas about how to structure my topics.

You are all awesome!!!!

Now that the baptism is complete, I look forward to seeing you again on March 26th.

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12 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier